Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7

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Lt 32a, 1892

Brethren of the General Conference

Melbourne, Australia

December 19, 1892

Variant of Lt 32, 1892. Previously unpublished.

Dear Brethren of the General Conference:

As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization there would be great confusion, and the work would not be carried forward successfully. To provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying the work into new fields, for protecting both the churches and the ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for publication of the truth through the press, and for many other objects, organization was indispensable. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 1

Yet there was strong feeling against it among our people. The First Day Adventists were opposed to organization, and most of the Seventh-day Adventists entertained the same ideas. We sought the Lord with earnest prayer that we might understand His will, and light was given by the Spirit, that there must be order and thorough discipline in the church, that organization was essential. System and order are manifest in all the works of God throughout the universe. Order is the law of heaven, and it should be the law of God’s people on the earth. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 2

In a testimony first published in 1859 in regard to systematic benevolence are these words: 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 3

“There is order in heaven, and God is pleased with the efforts of His people in trying to move with system and order in His work on the earth. I saw that there should be order in the church of God, and that system is needed in carrying forward successfully the last great message of mercy to the world.”—Testimonies for the Church 1:191. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 4

“Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully. They turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 5

“All who desire to co-operate with the heavenly messengers must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God will co-operate with them. But never, never will these heavenly messengers place their endorsement upon irregularity, disorganization, and disorder. All these evils are the result of Satan’s efforts to weaken our forces, to destroy our courage, and prevent successful action. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 6

“Satan well knows that success can only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order—that subjection and perfect discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. It is his studied effort to lead professed people of God and make them believe that order and discipline are enemies to spirituality, that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course, and to remain especially distinct from bodies of Christians who are united and are laboring to establish discipline and harmony of action. All the efforts to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery. These devoted souls consider it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently; they will not take any man’s say so. They are amenable to no man. I was shown that it was Satan’s special work to lead men to feel that it was God’s order for them to strike out for themselves, and choose their own course, independent of their brethren. ... 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 7

“Has God changed from a God of order? No; He is the same in the present dispensation as in the former. Paul says, ‘God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.’ [1 Corinthians 14:33.] He is as particular now as then. And He designs that we should learn lessons of order and organization from the perfect order instituted in the days of Moses for the benefit of the children of Israel.”—Testimonies for the Church 1:649-653. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 8

Testimony No. 6: “As we near the close of time, Satan comes down with great power, knowing that his time is short. Especially will his power be exercised upon the remnant. He will war against them and seek to divide and scatter them, that they may grow weak and be overthrown. The people of God should move understandingly, and should be united in their efforts. They should be of the same mind, of the same judgment; then their efforts will not be scattered, but will tell forcibly in the upbuilding of the cause of present truth. Order must be observed, and there must be union in maintaining order, or Satan will take advantage. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 9

“I saw that the enemy would come in every way possible to dishearten the people of God and perplex and trouble them, and that they should move understandingly, and prepare themselves for the attacks of Satan. Matters pertaining to the church should not be left in an unsettled condition. Steps should be taken to secure church property for the cause of God, that the work may not be retarded in its progress, and that the means which persons wish to dedicate to God’s cause may not slip into the enemy’s ranks. I saw that God’s people should act wisely, and leave nothing undone on their part to place the business of the church in a secure state. Then after all is done that they can do, they should trust the Lord to overrule these things for them, that Satan take no advantage of God’s remnant people. It is Satan’s time to work. A stormy future is before us; and the church should awake to make an advance move that they may stand securely against his plans. It is time that something was done. God is not pleased to have His people leave the matters of the church at loose ends, and suffer the enemy to have the whole advantage and control affairs as best pleases him.”—Testimonies for the Church 1:210, 211. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 10

Let none entertain the thought, however, that we can dispense with organization. It has cost us much study and many prayers for wisdom; we know God has answered, to erect this structure. It has been built up by His direction, through much sacrifice and conflict. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 11

Let none of our brethren be so deceived as to attempt to tear it down, for you will thus bring in a condition of things that you do not dream of. In the name of the Lord I declare to you that it is to stand, strengthened, established, and settled. At God’s command, “Go forward,” we advanced when the difficulties to be surmounted made the advance seem impossible. We know how much it has cost to work out God’s plans in the past, which has made us as a people what we are. Then let every one be exceedingly careful not to unsettle minds in regard to those things that God has ordained for our prosperity and success in advancing His cause. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 12

With zeal, earnestness, and devotion the servants of God will seek to spread far and near the knowledge of the truth; yet they will not neglect to labor for the strength and unity of the church. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 13

They will watch carefully lest opportunity be given for diversity and division to creep in. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 14

There have of late arisen among us men who profess to be the servants of Christ, but whose work is opposed to that unity which our Lord established in the church. They have original plans and methods of labor. They desire to introduce changes into the church to suit their ideas of progress, and imagine what grand results are thus to be secured. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 15

These men need to be learners rather than teachers in the school of Christ. They are ever restless, aspiring to accomplish some great work, to do something that will bring honor to themselves. They need to learn that most profitable of all lessons, humility and faith in Jesus. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 16

Some are watching their fellow laborers and anxiously endeavoring to point out their errors, when they should rather be earnest to prepare their own souls for the great conflict before them. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 17

Press together, press together. In union there is strength and victory; in discord and division there is weakness and defeat. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 18

These words have been spoken to me from heaven. As God’s ambassador I speak them to you. 7LtMs, Lt 32a, 1892, par. 19